This is book 2 of the Parasitology trilogy. Apparently it was supposed to be a duology, but Ms. Grant had a lot more to say!
Symbiont is a bit different than Parasite (book 1) was. Sal knows who she is, but she’s still trying to figure a lot of details out. She knows she can trust her boyfriend & her dogs, & everybody else she’s (rightfully) wary about.
There are a LOT LOT LOT of “sleepwalkers” in this book. I was trying to explain the story to a friend, & he said “oh, so they’re zombies”. They nearly are, in that their brain function is low, they crave humans, & they basically shamble in mobs, but for some reason, I never saw them as zombies. And believe me, I’m no stranger to zombies. They’re kind of my favorite, & my brain’s go-to nightmare.
Anyway, Sal & Nathan have to abandon Nathan’s apartment & find his mom, because they’re not safe anymore. Their journey is of course harrowing. Nathan’s mom realizes that Sal needs brain surgery to repair something, & the hospitals are a shit show with sleepwalkers everywhere. Nobody knows what to do, & it’s just getting worse. Again they have to run, and Sal gets caught by someone she originally thought was dead. She’s held captive for a while & basically gets experimented on by a former friend & new enemy. Sal eventually escapes & gets reunited with her BF & dogs. As a crazy dog lady myself, I can absolutely sympathize with her dog protectiveness. Back at the compound (inside a candy factory!), everyone is trying to live their own way while also attempting to save the world.
Of course trouble comes knocking, because nothing is ever easy, they have to flee again.
Sal ends up with her “dad”, held captive AGAIN! I’m looking forward to seeing how this all plays out in book 3…